Takeaways from Aid & Development Asia Summit 2017: Technology & Partnerships

The 3rd annual Aid & Development Asia Summit was held in Naypyitaw, Myanmar on 14-15 June 2017 at the Myanmar International Convention Centre 2 (MICC-2). The two day summit attracted more than 300+ high-profile participants from the government, national and international NGOs, businesses, UN organisations, donors and media. Following the success of the previous Summit at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, this year’s event zoomed in on current initiatives and latest trends around procurement, technology and innovation in Southeast Asia’s aid and development sector, with a focus on Myanmar.

The Summit featured 17 exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge products and services that support the progress of Sustainable Development Goals and help save lives of disaster victims. Amongst them were Procter & Gamble, HemoCue, NRS International, Okkar Thiri Co. Ltd., Aquatabs, B Medical Systems, Envirofit, Imerys, Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings Ltd., Inmarsat, Dulas, GIZ and IIRR.

Day one, 14th June, offered an update on policies and regional programmes in food security, climate-smart agriculture, community resilience, disaster preparedness, infrastructure and education. The opening keynote address was given by Dr Tin Htut, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation, Myanmar. Peter Batchelor, Country Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) set the scene with a presentation on aid and development trends in Myanmar and Southeast Asia. The conference was then split into two parallel streams, with agriculture & resilience in one room and infrastructure & education in another. Networking lunch offered participants the opportunity to engage with like-minded delegates in meaningful discussions at different themed lunch tables.

“The Aid & Development Asia Summit 2017 is very useful for us because it informative concerning the topics of aid and how to develop in one's field” - U Kyaw Larim, A.D. of Department of Planning, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, Myanmar

“As well as the content of discussion, I could establish a wide variety of network with people from the various fields. Thank you for your invitation and providing such wonderful opportunity to ADB” - Hiroki Kasahara, Senior Financing Partnerships Specialist, Asian Development Bank

The day concluded with a panel on how to build effective cross-sector partnerships needed to improve aid delivery and development strategy in the region. U Tun Tun Naing, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Planning and Finance, Myanmar delivered closing remarks which were followed by the drinks reception at the exhibition area. Here, the audience was exposed to latest technologies and innovative solutions.

“The discussions were very interesting and the new contacts from private sectors will improve our humanitarian responses in future. Thank you very much for organizing the forum” - Minn Naing Oo, Country Coordinator, Malteser International

“It was a pleasant and enlightening experience for me, and I believe, for many development workers who participated in it” - Sid Naing, Country Director, Marie Stopes

The second day of the Summit, 15th June, was dedicated to technology innovations and best practice in data strategy and mobile-based initiatives in Myanmar, as well as building Asia’s capacity to meet health SDGs and deal with public health threats. Dr That Zin Htoo, Assistant Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar gave an opening keynote speech. The panellists in the sessions that followed shared latest developments in maternal and child health, WASH practices, disease prevention and nutrition. Addressing challenges of humanitarian logistics and safety of aid workers, update on cash-based programmes, enabling policies that drive digital and financial inclusion in Southeast Asia were also discussed.

The delegates had an opportunity to take part in topic-specific roundtable discussions, including Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in Asia Pacific with Shashank Mishra, DRR Program Director, UN-Habitat, Emergency Communications with Communities with Simon Gee, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, TechSoup, Food Security: Climate Smart Agriculture with Dr Dindo Campilam, Director for Asia, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), WASH Partnerships and Initiatives with Dr Bella Monse, Senior Advisor, Fit for School, Technical Assistance for Effective School Health, GIZ and Building and Strengthening Partnerships with Dr Myo Myint Aung, Project Director, PATH.

“Useful information and experience; sharing lessons learned among organizations” - May Thlikha Soe, Nutrition Specialist, Plan International Myanmar

“It was a great moment for me. I got a lot of knowledge related to WASH innovations. And it was a valuable event to build a broader networking with the development sector experts around the world” - Than Kyaw Soe, WASH Officer, UNICEF

Mobile technology is evolving to meet the needs of humanitarian and development professionals in order to improve reach and communication with local communities and effectively deliver development assistance. Planet of the Apps, a new feature of the Aid & Development Asia Summit, presented mobile applications that help support SDGs in the region. Showcased apps include Green Way, ReliefWeb, AidHedge, Share The Meal and ETC Reporter.

Over the two days, the Summit participants learned about initiatives and programmes in Southeast Asia, discovered applications of new technologies and established long-lasting partnerships with key stakeholders including government ministers, UN representatives, NGOs and the private sector companies in aid and sustainable development.

“Informative and a needed step to work together” - Ko Ko Kyan, Director, Myanmar Red Cross Society

“Thank you very much for inviting us (MoC) to attend this kind of great event. We got a lot of information and ideas. I believe that our seniors will also use obtained information further in laying down policies and action plans. We appreciate your team for organizing this event”- Ms Thanda Khin, Deputy Director, Ministry of Commerce, Myanmar

TESTIMONIALS:

“Beneficial and appreciated; I would recommend to colleagues” - SP Jost, Representative, World Health Organisation (WHO)

“I enjoyed the event, in particular networking opportunities. I took a number of stimulating contacts, links and ideas with me. Thank you so much!” - Peter Schmidt, Country Director, Helvetas

"It is interesting to hear different designs of implementation towards improving health in Myanmar and other countries” – Annabelle Khin Sett Lin, Program Manager, Christian Aid

“The Aid & Development Asia Summit 2017 was useful and informative, was good for networking” - Ni Ni Win, Program Officer, UNICEF

“This kind of event is good for the participants to hear from each other and to see opportunity for future collaboration” - Aye Kyawt Lwe, Mercy Corps

“Very practical from networking side” - Carlo AntonÍo Nino, Deputy Country Director, Helen Keller International

“The topics and discussions that followed are highly informative. I've learned a lot from the sessions” - Roberto Awisa, Knowledge Transfer Manager, East West Seed Company

“Aid & Development Asia Summit is useful for meeting new people from different backgrounds, local and international. Very informative and opportunity to learn from others” - Aung Kyaw Htut, Consultant, Myanmar Red Cross Society

“It is very beneficial to get a wider scope of networking” - Khin Aung, Project Officer, PATH

“It was such a beneficial summit for us to have better understandings of agriculture, infrastructure and other aid & development projects done or going to be done in Myanmar” - Su Phyo Win,Senior Business Reporter, The Myanmar Times

“The Summit was very informative; I can see different subjects, different issues in one place” - Myint Lwin, Program Director, Helen Keller International

“Useful and practical. Gives chances for networking” - Tim Htut, Health Specialist, UNICEF

PRESENTATIONS:

DAY 1 – Wednesday 14 June 2017

9.25 Setting the Scene: Aid Trends in Myanmar and Southeast Asia - Peter Batchelor, Country Director, UNDP
9.35 Panel: Funding and Procurement Trends in Myanmar and Southeast Asia - Chong Chi Nai, Advisor, Procurement and Portfolio Management, Myanmar Resident Mission, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank
11.00 Panel: Building a Culture of Resilience and Strengthening Disaster Preparedness - Dr Aung Kyaw Htut, Deputy Secretary General, Myanmar Red Cross Society
12.00 Panel: Early Warning Systems, Data Collection and Mapping - Aaron Wise, Senior Food Security Analyst, WFP
14.05 Panel: Technologies and Initiatives for Meeting Education SDGs in Myanmar - Wai Mar Phyo, Programme Director, Mobile Education Partnerships
14.45 Panel: Innovations and Programmes for Improving Rural Livelihoods - Henriette Ceyrac, Partnerships Manager, Living Goods
16.05 Panel: Building Successful Public-Private Partnerships - Dr Myo Myint Aung, Project Director, PATH

DAY 2 – Thursday 15 June 2017

9.05 Keynote Address - Dr. That Zin Htoo, Assistant Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar
11.55 Panel: Data Strategy to Support SDGs - Wivina Belmonte, Deputy Regional Director, East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, UNICEF
14.05 Panel: Improving Maternal And Child Health - Dr Tobe Makoto, Senior Advisor, Health Financing and Health Systems, Human Development Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
14.50 Panel: Best Practice and Innovation in WASH - Dr Victor Siang Tze Sim, Deputy Director, Nanyang, Environment and Water Research Institute Community Development (NEWRI)
14.50 Panel: Cash-Based Programmes and Financial Inclusion - Myint Kyaw, Program Director, Rural Finance and Value Chain Development, Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

IN PRESS: 

Myanmar becomes fastest growing aid recipient in the region - The Myanmar Times 
3rd Annual Aid & Development Summit begins in Nay Pyi Taw - Mizzima Media
Myanmar seeks better coordination in ODA - The Myanmar Times

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